From Cinema To Stores: An Implementation Engineer’s Journey


“He woke up, panting, from a deep sleep with an accompanied sound. He soon realized his right palm was bleeding as he hit the lamp. He got up slowly and walked to restroom. He turned on the tap and as blood gushed through his fingers, he started to recollect the nightmare he just witnessed.”

Ram exhaled. “What am I writing?” he thought to himself. He was supposed to write a professional blog post for his company, but he was writing a horror thriller instead. Back to work.

How did a movie fanatic like Ram become an implementation engineer in a product based retail company? Purely coincidence and luck, he thought to himself. What could Ram possibly say about retail if he just started working at Nextenture a year ago? He was practically a start-up in a start-up.

Ram began to write: “Life is like a box of chocolates.” No – that was too corny for an opener and blatantly ripped off from “Forrest Gump.” He leaned back in his chair and pondered more.

Ram never wanted to be great, never wanted power and never wanted to be the richest. But just as he affirmed throughout his time working as an implementation engineer, Ram remembered a mantra he learned during his job: keep it simple. In the same way he learned how to communicate with store managers on crucial support calls, Ram tried out another opening.

“Great men are not born great, they grow great.” Nope – that was too hammed and also from “The Godfather.” Ram quickly deleted the words off the screen and stared at his computer. Still a blank page. Ram put his palm on his face and closed his eyes.

When Ram came to the United States for school, he initially thought he was going to prove himself to everyone else and had big ambitions about joining the New York Film Academy. Though he didn’t exactly achieve his vision, he was happy as an engineer, helping retailers use critical workforce management tools.

It doesn’t sound as thrilling as making movies, but based on compliments he got from store managers and retail executives on successful software configurations, Ram knew he was making a difference. After all, thousands of employees across numerous stores were always going to be affected by how Ram did his job. Yet despite the amount of responsibility in his role as an implementation engineer, Ram’s motto remained in tune with his company’s: because effective retail is a journey.

In a way, Ram’s journey to the United States and transition from being a cinema junkie to working in retail consulting gave him a unique perspective to help store managers. Ram realized that whether in studying film, managing stores or implementing workforce management tools, any job requires tasks. And every task at its core is a journey.

Suddenly, the sound of a particularly obnoxious alarm coming from his phone jolted Ram awake. Ram opened his eyes and looked outside his window, only to see the sun shining ominously. He peeked at the computer next to him and gasped. It was 7 in the morning and the Word Document he saw in front of him remained void of any words.

Not knowing where to begin or how to end, he began to write.

– Abhiram Sridhara.